By Victor Salazar
North Bergen, NJ - Naazim Richardson is old school and by old school he means coming up in the era of same day weigh-ins. Richardson feels boxing has changed because of the weigh-ins taking place 24 hours prior to a fight, dieticians, and strength and conditioning coaches.
“I’ve had two fighters who fought in their right weight class, Bernard Hopkins and Steve Cunningham,” Richardson told BoxingScene.com. “They fought in their right weight class. I had them at times in the gym that they were already in their fight week weight. That’s gangster, those are real gangsters. They faced guys bigger than them and beat them. Steve and Bernard can start a whole new boxing circuit where they can weigh in 30 minutes before the fight and be on weight, the real weight.”
Richardson also feels the level of fighter’s intellect has gone down.
“There was an era in boxing intellect won over power,” Richardson said. “Power was always manipulated by intellect. This era you can be world champion with power and last. In another era, you’d get beat by a smarter fighter, one might not get you, two might not get you by three would. Now most of the time, you’re fighting another puncher, so all you have to do is be a strong puncher. This is where the dieticians came in. You get a guy that have you rehydrate the right way with losing 65 pounds. You have to duck your head and run into this guy and beat him because you’re much bigger.”
Should Cunningham win his bout with Antonio Tarver later tonight on Premier Boxing Champions, he may be in line to land a possible shot at WBC Heavyweight Champion, Deontay Wilder, Wilder would hold a big size advantage over Cunningham but feels his fighter can be crafty enough to beat the big guys.
“But this is where we are, we going cry? I never had a puncher. We had to think our way through all of our fights. But if you see when a puncher runs into a real craft fighter, it’s hard for them to figure out what to do. Steve’s a craft guy and he can hang with the big boys like Wilder.”